Updated Sun, Oct 27, 2013 5:49 pm
The Ohio soccer team has only missed the Mid-American Conference Tournament twice since its first season in 1997, and that won’t change this year.
The Bobcats had some help around the league, as they lost, 2-1, to Northern Illinois on Sunday. All three teams that were in the hunt to knock Ohio out of the playoffs – Akron, Buffalo and Toledo, all with seven points – lost, making Ohio playoff-bound with 12 points.
With a No. 7 seed on the line, both Northern Illinois and Ohio came prepared to battle. The two teams combined for 17 fouls and the Huskies’ had four yellow cards issued throughout the second half.
After a scoreless first half, Samantha Hill put Northern Illinois on the scoreboard, catching Ohio goalie Mattie Liston out of position and knocking in a close goal on an Emily Nulty assist.
Liston, who made three saves, allowed another goal in the 81st minute, when Sara Spaulding scored off a corner kick that Liston couldn’t corral. Ohio’s Carly Manso quickly responded with the Bobcats’ lone goal in the 83rd minute.
The Huskies only had six shots throughout the game – 5 on goal – which was the third lowest total Ohio opponents have had this season. Heading into Sunday, the Bobcats had allowed 19-plus shots in seven straight games.
After the loss on Sunday, Ohio falls to the No. 8 seed in the MAC Tournament. To get the No. 7 seed, coach Aaron Rodgers and his squad need to defeat Kent State at home on Thursday and to root for the Toledo Rockets to win on the road at Northern Illinois.
The current No. 1 seed, who Ohio would play if the season ended today, is Western Michigan. The Broncos will battle No. 2 Eastern Michigan on Thursday for the top spot.
The Bobcats will come back home for one final game before the MAC Tournament. They welcome Kent State to Chessa Field on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 3 p.m. Kent State lost to Northern Illinois, 2-1, and defeated Toledo, 3-1, this weekend.